Dawson Garcia, a 6-foot-10, 200-pound sophomore forward from Prior Lake (MN) High, is one of the state’s top players in the Class of 2020.
Garcia helped lead the Lakers to a 14-11 record last season, losing to Edina 75-69 in the first round of the Class AAAA Section 2 playoffs.
Garcia averaged 8.8 points per game as a freshman, scoring in double figures in nine of 22 games. He had a career-high 17 points versus Eastview.
Gopher Hole caught up with Garcia recently to learn more about his recruitment.
Gopher Hole: You had a very good AAU season. Were you proud of the fact that got to showcase your abilities with D1 Minnesota?
Dawson Garcia: I felt that I was able to showcase my ability to get to the basket more. My athleticism. Also, we have got a lot of talent on that team, so I am able to share the ball and not just be a scorer as I am in the high school season and my defense really stepped up and my jump shot. I started hitting a lot of jump shots towards the end of the season.
Gopher Hole: I know that you had a lot of coaches come up to your open gyms. What coaches have you seen?
Dawson Garcia: I know Wisconsin, Iowa State, Minnesota, Creighton, South Dakota, Butler, Stanford and Iowa.
Gopher Hole: How does that make you feel? You are only a sophomore, so that has make to make you feel pretty proud?
Dawson Garcia: Yes, it does. I am just going to keep working hard because I have got people to chase and spots to fill, so that is what I am going for.
Gopher Hole: You also have had a chance to go to some college campuses this fall. Where all have you been?
Dawson Garcia: I have taken three visits. I have gone to Iowa State. I loved that campus. It is a very nice facility. I went to a Minnesota game last season. I was there for a scrimmage this year. I love the way that they get up and down and play and I went to a Wisconsin football game. It was a really cool atmosphere. Everyone starts jumping and stuff. It is just a great atmosphere to be around.
Gopher Hole: No offers yet, but what schools are you hearing from the most?
Dawson Garcia: I would say Minnesota. They are really recruiting me hard right now. I would say that they are the frontrunner right now.
Gopher Hole: I know that Minnesota has made a commitment to keep a lot of the best kids in-state players here like Daniel (Oturu). Jarvis (Johnson) and Gabe (Kalscheur). What would it mean to have the chance to play for the homestate team?
Dawson Garcia: It would mean a lot to help go and the program is heading in a great direction right now as they have struggled in the past years, but they are really picking it up lately.
Gopher Hole: Do you watch a lot of college basketball?
Dawson Garcia: Yes.
Gopher Hole: Are there certain players or positions that you watch. Do you watch players that are similar to you?
Dawson Garcia: I kind of watch all the positions and take bits and pieces from their games and try to add it to my game.
Gopher Hole: Any favorite players?
Dawson Garcia: I love watching Gary Trent play.
Gopher Hole: What would it mean to get that first Division I offer?
Dawson Garcia: It would mean a lot, but I would have to give all the thanks to up above and just stay humble.
Gopher Hole: What would it mean to play Division I basketball?
Dawson Garcia: It would mean a lot to me because I would want to extend that. If I play Division I basketball, I want to try to make it to play pro ball some day.
Gopher Hole: Prior Lake is an up-and-coming program. You guys improved a lot last year and are expected to be even better this season. You have another big man on the roster in Robert Jones, who has Division I offers. Is that kind of nice to have another guy who allows you to avoid some of the double and triple teams?
Dawson Garcia: When I was younger, growing up, I was always the big man, so I always had to do that stuff, but when I am playing with Robert, it is like super nice because if I am going up for a rebound and there are like three guys, he will just come in and swoop the ball. It is kind of nice to have another big dude like that.
Gopher Hole: Is it nice that it also allows you to play a little more away from the basket and develop a little bit more of an all-around game?
Dawson Garcia: I started when I was younger, my parents didn’t know how tall I was. They started me with dribbling and a lot of shooting, because my parents aren’t very tall. My mom is like 5-11, but I sprouted up and my game just kind of evolved together.
Gopher Hole: You are 6-10. Have you talked to doctors about how much more you might potential grow?
Dawson Garcia: When I was about 6-8, they said that I have a fair amount of growing to do because they checked my hand that was injured and they said that my growth plates are still pretty far apart. You never know.
Gopher Hole: What are the expectations for you guys this year? You are in a tough conference as the South Suburban is one of the best in the state with Apple Valley, Lakeville and a lot of other good teams.
Dawson Garcia: Obviously, we want to be up top and compete with Apple Valley. We played North and beat them by twenty last week, but we are coming for Valley, because they are the frontrunner in the conference and everyone knows it.
Gopher Hole: Any plans to go to any college games in the future?
Dawson Garcia: I think that I am going to go an Iowa game soon and I am going to go to a Minnesota game. I think those are the two next ones.